about writing and life and God

Clearing the way

on December 3, 2012

It’s really begun!

No, not the run-up to Christmas. The final furlongs on the Book-Under-Contract. The one due in by 31st December.

Digital Image

I’ve cleared away the undergrowth and can see clearly where I’m going with it, what I need to do to get it into shape for that delivery date. There’s a lot of editing needed and a bit more writing. But I reckon I can do it. And enjoy the doing of it too.

So what’s changed? Apart from panic and a sudden sharp intake of breath as I realised it’s the first working day of December? Well, I think those were what propelled me.

And what it propelled me into was my characteristic furniture-moving, reorganising and tidying of my study which I always do before launching seriously into a project. I got rid of the silly little table I had been working on (trying to make the room look bigger in case any potential house buyers came to view) and rebuilt my nice big table which takes up almost the half the space. Oh what bliss! Room to spread out my papers…

I even reorganised the books on the wall of shelves that’s behind my desk to make sure that what I use most frequently are closest. Much better.

Then the filing trays filled to the gills with all the detritus of the writer’s life – not to mention the house-owner’s, Power of Attorney’s, wife and step-mum, great-aunt…. I’ve put it all on the spare bed and would close the door on it. Except that’s the upstairs cat’s favourite day room.

My study now looks wondrously businesslike which is exactly what I need to get to work. I simply cannot work in mess.

So no excuses now. And none needed. I did the first stage of my prep for Sunday morning’s service this morning, then this afternoon I did a thorough re-read of what I’ve already accumulated for the B-U-C. (By the way it does have a title, Take Care of Him, from the story of the Good Samaritan when he took the wounded man to the inn and it’s already been announced by the publisher on Amazon. No pressure there then!)

The plan of the book is for three sections:

Part 1 dealing with the truly uncomfortable period leading up to a loved one – parent, spouse, child – going into residential care

Part 2 covers all the hassles and guilt of the settling-in period, relationships with the home and its staff etc.

Part 3 is the stage I’m currently in where the person is well-settled and there’s a routine of visiting. Life has changed irrevocably and you need to come to terms with it.

I’m aiming for 42 separate meditations (in the format of the weekly Dementia Diaries) and I reckon I’ve got 30 usable ones though some will need serious editing and rewriting. I don’t have the correct balance of topics, however ,with most coming from Part 3, the stage I’m at. I’ll need to write more for Parts 1 and 2 and am planning to grab a couple of friends in a similar situation and check out over coffee what they reckon are topics needing covered. I’d welcome comments and ideas on this.

This book is a sequel to my earlier book, One Day at a Time. I’m amazed that folk still come up and tell me what a help that one was when they were in the at-home caring situation, so I very much want this one to be as helpful.

It’s reckoned that in the UK alone there are over half a million adults living in residential care. For each one there is a family member struggling to cope. As I know from my own experience, it’s tough going it alone so this is my contribution.



2 responses to “Clearing the way

  1. Pat Williamson says:

    Hate to disagree with a friend but your final paragraph is simply not true. Whilst many of the folk in residential care do have folk behind them, a great many of them do not. For some that is the reason they are in care in the first place. Think you have made too wide a generalisation although I understand the point you are trying to make. Good luck with the editing!

    • Had to reread the end to find out what I’d said (and it was only yesterday! Oh dear) and I have to agree. There are lots of folk without family, and lots whose families don’t care. But there are still a large number of families and spouses who really agonise about this situation.

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